Concern after 84-year-old’s fall

Mary Meiklejohn
Mary Meiklejohn

A THORNTON woman has called on Fife Council to tighten up its procedures after her elderly mother had a bad fall at home and was failed by her community alarm.

The woman, who doesn’t want to be named, contacted The Press after the incident last Wednesday night.

She came home to find her 84-year-old mother, Mary Meiklejohn, lying on the floor after she tripped and fell.

When she asked her mum if she had used her community alarm, her mum said she had and was told an ambulance was on its way.

But when her daughter contacted paramedics they said they had not received a phone call from Council staff.

She said: “I am quite angry about this because my mum assured me she was told the paramedics were being sent out, but when I called them to make sure they hadn’t been called at all. If I had not have come home when I did she would still have been lying there.”

Mary suffered a fractured cheekbone and was bruised from head to foot in the fall. She was taken to Victoria Hospital to be checked over and was sent home two hours later.

Mary’s daughter said: “When I contacted the Council they told me someone had spoken to my mum who said she was alright, but my mum’s impression was that she was told someone would be sent out to help her.”

She continued: “They have to take a serious look at their procedures when an elderly person has a fall like this. That person could have concussion or have dementia and be confused. If they don’t send out an ambulance they should send a care worker out straight away.”

She added: “I really feel my mum was let down by a service she pays for.”

Louise Bell, head of Fife Council’s Older People Service, said: “We take the care of older people very seriously and their well being is our top priority. This has clearly been a very traumatic incident and not one we would want for any of our service users.

“We will be offering support to Mrs Meiklejohn and her family. We have a very good community alarm service here in Fife but the circumstances around the response given in this case will be taken extremely seriously and investigated thoroughly. We will respond directly to the family.”